Category Archives: Nature of God

There’s no Beer in Heaven – Time to get Serious

[off the cuff by   ~Sha’Tara]
It’s time to get serious.  As most know by now, I was once a very religious person.  So religious, in fact, I became religious twice.  In politics that would be called going from a liberal stance to a conservative one, or is it vice-versa?  Doesn’t matter.  What matters is, I need to confess the real reason I left religion.  Starting at the start, we do religion because we want to go to Heaven, just like we go to work because we want a paycheck.  Pretty basic.

All was well until one day, thanks to radio, I heard a song so devastating, I never recovered – I even went to an upholstery repair shop, they couldn’t help me.  (Oh, aren’t I punny!)

Here’s that infamous song by Frankie Yankovic

In Heaven there is no beer

That’s why we drink it here
And when we’re gone from here
All our friends will be drinking all that beer

The moment I heard that song, I was convicted of its utter truth.  I knew then, and still do, that people who sing these songs never lie because they are the ones the corporations use to sing commercial ditties for them, and we all know, based on their success rating that commercials absolutely NEVER LIE.  So there I was, halfway through my Heineken and my heart didn’t just sink, it plummetted.  No beer in Heaven.  They still hold to prohibition there.  Of course I was in the Christian camp so slipping on a hijab I snuck in the Islamic side to see if Allah was more open than Jehovah on drinking.  No luck, except that Allah was willing to provide a number of nubile virgins for his chosen heroes (they call themselves martyrs but all fundamentally religious people believe they are being constantly persecuted so that doesn’t mean a whole lot).  Obviously virgins, particularly of the female kind, wasn’t what I was looking for, so I excused myself, said I was just browsing, and made a rapid exit – you might understand why.  But back to my side of the fence.

After the shock, and a very satisfactory emtying of my Heineken beer, little knowing it wasn’t bottled in Holland, but at the beer plant in town,  I began to think about this.  So I’m in Heaven. Let’s just say I spent the day looking after a kindergarten bunch of rowdies and I want to retire to my “mansion” (everybody has to have a mansion in Heaven, that’s the rule, it’s in the law book – it’s for the higher tax bracket but I’m not supposed to know that), pop open the fridge and draw out a first class beer.  It’s Heaven after all, would I be sold after market crap?  But according to this song I just heard, no such luck.  It doesn’t help that I can hear the groaning and moaning along with the odd girlish cries of protest coming from the other side of the partition where the Muslim boys are going at it full bore.  In fact, it makes my blood boil, or would, if Iwas already there.  But I’m thinking here. That cheapskate Jehovah.  Here’s Allah providing seventy virgins, count them, that’s right: seventy for each one of his hero-boys to rape and pillage, and I can’t even have one lousy beer?  I mean you believe in the guy.  You serve him all your life, which can be reasonably long if he doesn’t decide to have you burned alive at the stake at nineteen as he did for Joan…

There are lots of reasons to leave one’s religion.  You’ve been fondled after Sunday school by the assistant pastor, and later on, raped by the main pastor.  That’s one reason.  You’ve been passed over for a promotion to choir leader.  The church bus left without you that day the church team was playing a rival team and they won.  You can’t become a “real” pastor ’cause you’re a girl and girls are designed by God to serve their men masters.  If you don’t believe that just ask a judge, specifically you could ask Judge Roy Moore – he’s the expert on this at the moment.  Just don’t get too close, his hands are still quite active when he’s not holding a gun in the right hand and a bible in the left.  You might be unpleasantly surprised where those fingers land.

But this song, that was the very last straw.  What’s wrong with God, anyway?  Isn’t it enough he feels women’s lives should be made hell, physically, morally, socially, financially and in any other “ally” possible?  Now he’s going to deny me my one consolation at the end of the day?  I’m committing apostasy, over beer (I said to myself).
Over beer? You ask somewhat shocked.  You bet.  So that was it.  It’s my understanding that Hell has an ample and unrestricted supply of beer.  OK, it’s raccoon piss, i.e., Canadian and American beer, but beggars can’t be choosers.

I’ll close this with the old truism on life.  In life, there are only two things to worry about: either you’re healthy, or you’re sick. If you’re healthy, nothing to worry about.  If you’re sick, there are two things to worry about: either you’re going to live or you’re going to die.  If you’re going to live, nothing to worry about.  If you’re going to die, there are two things to worry about: either you’re going to Heaven or you’re going to Hell.  If you’re going to Heaven, nothing to worry about (well, except the beer thing of course) and if you’re going to Hell you’ll be so busy entertaining and being entertained, you won’t have time to worry.
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See this Ultimate Horror

 

    [a poem, by Sha'Tara]
 
 
 ..."did I not say, Ye Are Gods?"...
 The gods would have laughed
 but dead before their time,
 their non-voices
 fed my eternal silence.


 O, to be God! (like God!)
 O, to have such Power!
 Indeed,
 Omniscient:
 nothing left to know!
 Omnipresent:
 no place left to go!
 Omnipotent:
 a cosmos of Self
 suitable but for destruction!
 Of such is Absolute Power.


 O, maddening burden,
 incomprehensible curse!
 Dying to know, to do, to be
 to end it all: Impossible!
 "For I, the Lord, do not change!"


 The gods, my children
 asking, begging, for relief
 from the curse of eternity:
 in love I killed them one by one
 I smothered them in mindless anger,
 with Pain I smote, destroyed,
 annihilated.


 Alone in Power, 
 my only companion, my hell, my Self:
 my One: Eternity.  
 Now you see ultimate horror:
 would Ye Be The New Gods?  

Thoughts and ideas – Passing through the Eye of the Needle

                                  [thoughts from   ~burning woman~  by Sha’Tara]

[Quote from: A Quantum Murder – Peter F. Hamilton]:  CTC’s:  Closed Time-like Curve or loop through space-time.

“These microscopic holes through space-time are too small for physical objects to pass through, so he suggested that they facilitate the exchange of pure data. Your mind [ ] is quite literally connected with billions, trillions, of other minds; a vast repository of visual images, smells, tastes, and memories. This so-called psychic trait in certain humans is no more than a superior interpretation ability, you can make sense of our cosmological heritage, filter out the scream of the white noise jumble, pick over the bones.” [unquote]

I’m thinking of the saying: passing through the eye of the needle.  Microscopic holes through space-time too small for physical objects to pass through: could this mean only someone “conscious” can travel through the eye of the needle?  Someone in pure consciousness having no physical presence, i.e., no attachments to anything – to any THING?  Question: is “consciousness” a thing?  Is spirit a thing?  Can something non-physical, non-measurable, non-sensually apprehendable be a thing?  If nothing (no thing) is impossible (coming back to that) can a thought that gives a name to a non-thing be possible?  If I can name it, it must exist, however improbable that may appear.  Can one say something that isn’t without making it real; without giving it some definition in this “real time, real space” reality in which the defining thought is uttered? Can ‘existence’ be and not be real, as we are forced to understand the term, real?

More questions:  Are there (is there such a thing as) psychic powers?  If there are, could they be explained rationally, scientifically?  And, of course, if they cannot be explained in a physical sense, does that invalidate the concept entirely?  Or, is man’s lopsided science once again wrong in addressing something it has no business doing?  Is science now replacing religion in making pronouncements about aspects of life it is not designed to study and theorize upon?  Like the pathos of today’s religions coming face to face with thousands of years of ignorant and deliberate lies, is science gradually thrashing its way out of its natural waters to suffocate on an alien shore like a beached whale?

Existence; reality; actuality; personality: can these “exist” outside the atomic/sub-atomic structure?  Outside the physical universe?  Think in reverse: could there be physical existence without a non-physical underlying structure replete with an intelligence so massive it is immeasurable, incomprehensible, unknowable?

I know I’ve been around and around this old tree standing alone in the middle of the prairie, but could I have been chasing myself with another self from another reality?  Same tree, same prairie, different time, different “parallel” universe or universes, for that matter?  Ok, perhaps not the same tree or same prairie, just images of same, doppelgangers, identical realities, and “I” traveling between them, thinking I’m anchored in the same space-time but in fact flying about at an exponentially expanding faster than light rate?

I already know mind-wise that the fact of the matter is we are travelers on an endless maze of possibilities stretching, not in a straight line but arrowing away from, and towards, the “self” in every possible direction, out and in.  Riders of the cosmos.  From ever to forever, and our own private mind the guidance system of this vast and ever-expanding ship taking us through cosmic reality as best it can.  As there is no rest for the wicked, there is even less for the aware mind.  It needs no sleep.  Using data for fuel, it maintains itself upon experience after experience, growing, changing, adapting, learning and ever pushing back the darkness that is its unknowing.

Someone will ask, so, have you encountered God in these travels?  God, you will answer truthfully, was left behind in another space-time continuum.  God is man’s quandary, his paradox.  God is the painting which evolving mind-man has been working on since inception, becoming both, man’s greatest thought and his greatest nightmare.  God is not something the self-aware independent questing mind spends energy querying.  Enough of that long ago when she needed artificial wings to stay aloft; when “she” – the now free mind – existed on only one straight line of space-time and sought rest from its labours, as in, “Come to me all ye who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.”  When on her tombstone they caused it to be written: “Requiescat in pace” – Rest in Peace.

Now is not the time to sit and ponder possibilities, as in, “to be or not to be.”  It’s now the critical state that allows one free mind to create light to leave as a beacon within the tunnel of space-time.  There will be other travelers who will appreciate that some small parts of their quest have already been traveled and they will thank the long-gone strangers who went before and left markers.  I know I am thankful for the parts I found already lit up.

[Quote again]:  “I used to see decreasing probabilities. Tau lines, we call them; right out in the far future there were millions of them, wild and outrageous; then you start to come closer to the present, and they begin to merge, probabilities become more likely, taming down. The closer you come to the present, the more likely they get, and the fewer. Then you reach the now, and there’s only one tau line left, it’s not probability any more, it has become certainty. That’s why I’m not surprised you only saw one past, because there is only one now.”

“Alternative futures, but no alternative past[?]”

“The future isn’t a place, don’t make that mistake,” [ ] “It’s a concept. I’ve steered people away from hazards often enough to know. The future is a speculative nebula, the past is solid and irrefutable. Taken from the psychic viewpoint, anyway,” [unquote]

Is that so?  Or is that just a convenient statement to end an uncomfortable moment in thought?  The aware mind knows that the so-called “past” is just as much riding on all the wave-fronts, tau lines or infinite directions as is the future.  Just because someone can only see one past, or even if ten billion individuals locked in group-mind step agree on only one solid past, that doesn’t change the fact that one individual not locked in; one free mind can see the past differently.

I imagine picking up a novel and opening it up at random.  To make sense of the reading, the mind instantly creates a “past” to anchor the present presented in the book.  That past may resemble the one implied by the story, or it may not.  But if I continue reading forward, “my” substituted past is now the past for all the characters in the book.  I read them through my particular vision of what their past was.  The interesting thing is, they don’t care because they can’t remember: they’re just characters in a book.

That is the state any as yet unaware, non-questing mind is in.  It has no power to question or change whatever past its Past Makers, particularly history, mythology and anthropology, give it.  They cling to the pendulum and from one end of the arc to the other, they only see the so-called present.  Is there a god in charge of winding the clock and keeping the pendulum of time moving?  One omnipresent God?

The unaware mind cannot travel therefore it must accept that there is a “present” that is formed by an unchanging past and is constantly moving into a preset future it cannot know.  It resembles sailors upon the deck of a tall ship caught in the doldrums – “Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.”  It can extrapolate; it can guess; it can wish – but it can’t know. The present is a prison; a prop; a permanence island; the lotus flower; forgetfulness. Present-dwelling people, like the lotus-eaters, live in a drugged state, going through the motions of being alive, yet always waiting for someone, something, to happen so they can experience something different; something new.  A new house, long weekend, new baby, retirement, hockey game.  Many lotus eaters believe in some blissful after-life (thus subconsciously admitting they are going into a non-life state!) while others simply spin away their days until, like a child’s top, the spinning slows, then stops: the top falls over.

The aware mind abides not; is always in motion.  It cannot relate to any state that implies rest: that would mean death, and the final death is the mind-death. The aware mind exists in a state of detachment and awe of life.  Ever questing, expanding, analyzing, questioning, judging, discerning… never satisfied.

Dear God: an overdue Email from ~burning woman~

Dear God,

I am not expecting you to reply to this email, in fact based on your modus operandi through these recent Earthian ages, I know you won’t.  So let me get right to the point.  There are still billions of people on this benighted world who not only believe in you, but who actually spend time praying to you hoping for some pathetic handout, crumbs from a rich God’s table.  I just heard from one of those hopefuls and it made me both deeply sad and extremely angry, that a God would thus feed himself upon the gullibility of a mentally defective species.  But then that is exactly why you made them that way, so they would worship you regardless of how you dealt with them.  The more you lie to them, the more you abuse them and confuse them, the more they will stick to you believing that you’re the lesser of evils in the eternal set-up of you versus your alter ego known in this Christian part of the world as Satan. 

suffering

Hope springs eternal in the human breast / Man never is, but always to be blessed: / The soul, uneasy and confined from home,  / Rests and expatiates in a life to come.   –Alexander Pope

So there you have it.  The whole house of cards you set up based on your dead-ends of faith, hope and love.  Man never is, but always to be.  Yet man is an inveterate gambler, and he’ll hope, he’ll beg, he’ll spend time and money, he’ll donate his life even, to your service and you will give him your eternal cold shoulder.  Do you and yours in your heaven get a lot of laughs from man’s pathetic behaviour?  No doubt you’re surrounded by Pharaohs, Kings and Queens, Emperors, Satraps and Despots, Dictators and Presidents, Generals, Conquerors, Great Counter-Revolutionaries, Bullionaires and Billionaires, Popes, Inquisitors and Crusaders, Jihadists and Reformers, in short all those elites who empowered and enriched themselves with the blood of the poor and the oppressed.  How you must find us amusing!

Of course you know me.  You know I don’t believe in you.  I have no use at all for any of your claims, either of supremacy or salvation.  But let’s not give anyone reading this the wrong idea: I know you exist.  I’m not so stupid as to spend my time writing this to non-existence.  But I want people to know what I know about you – not what I think about you, but what I know.  I know you are a powerless fake, a liar, a cheat and a coward, my dear God.  For millennia, you’ve been hiding behind monstrous lies erected by monstrous liars to promote yourself and inflate your ego.  During those times the earth has flowed with the blood of those who believed in you versus those who believed in you – that is not a misprint. 

As a psychopath you must find that extremely satisfactory.  Or you would find it deeply fulfilling if you didn’t know very well the only reason these puppets kill and die for you is because you force them to.  They are programmed by you to act thus.  That must irk, no?  Knowing that if these people had their freedom of reason they wouldn’t kill and die for you?  That they wouldn’t love you?  That they wouldn’t build mansions and cities to your name?  Well, that’s the price all abusers pay.  Their winnings are hollow, without substance.  They get worship and lip service from fear,  brainwashing or both and because it leaves them empty, they need more… and more.  Are you feeling hungry yet? 

When you kick started these Earthian civilizations you imposed a programming in their minds that ensured they’d never be free to choose whether to love you or not.  So until now all those civilizations were based on some kind of divine worship.  What could they do?  No choice in the matter, was there.  And it didn’t matter to you how they worshiped you, whether as natural spirits, wood, stone, silver and gold idols, or as some singular chimera.  In fact that’s what made the game so enjoyable.  The more different ways the numbnuts imagined you, the more they hated each other and the more blood was shed. 

And the game isn’t over, is it.  In these latter days you let them play with other idols, like democracy, communism, science, socialism, humanism, New Agey gobbledygook and even let them go hog-wild with your great pretend arch-enemy: money.  But you know I can see how you’re pulling it all back to yourself.  There’s billions of human and non-human lives that are about to be sacrificed, or going to sacrifice themselves, to the System in the coming years.  And that System, that Matrix, ultimately is the mask you hide behind.  It is you.  Billions of sacrificial victims whose blood you need in order to revitalize yourself after these last hundred or so years of dieting – oh you had the wars but they weren’t completely in your control – are about to turn this world into one vast bloody altar to you.  I know you’re not going to miss out on such a banquet.  It just wouldn’t be like you and if there is one entity in the universe that will never change its nature, it’s you.

bloody-religion

So, dear God, enjoy your coming bloodbath… and may you drown in it.  May the very last woman, or man, or child finally stand up, and give you that symbolic holy of holies… their carefully and deliberately extended middle finger.  You deserve it.  Meanwhile, go to Washington; to Mecca, to Jerusalem, to London, to Islamabad, to New Delhi, to Beijing, to Tokyo or Moscow or Paris and needle your henchmen to increase the blood flow in the Middle East, between each other or everywhere: does it matter as long as it flows?  Especially as long as women and children, weak, helpless, poor, old, homeless are bleeding and dying?  You’ve already given them the weaponry, the poisons, the insane greed, the madness of power, so motivate them or are you waiting for goddess Killary/Isis to take over the reins of the Empire for the nukes to start flying?  Are you that weak?  Truly, I expected more. You disappoint me.

Sincerely,
~burning woman~ 

 

I Wonder – an essay

                          I Wonder
                  [thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

       I wonder how many people on this world reach a point of total exhaustion from all the spinning around; all the questioning; all the struggling; all the spending; even all the merry making.  How many wish to stop in the middle of the madness and ask: Why? 
     Why am I doing this?  I’ve done this over and over.  What’s the point? 
      It would seem there does not need to be a point.  Life on earth is like riding the escalator.  If you are on the up side, you move up and if on the down side, you move down — just like everybody else around you.  No point – it’s just the escalator doing its thing and you’re on it.
It’s not so easy to get off the earth escalator, is it.  Even if you stop, you still move, up or down, and so does everything else around you.  You feel helpless to do anything about it.  It’s enough to make one have flying dreams.  To see oneself off the escalator, looking down but no longer bound to its trajectory. 
      There must come a time when one says, “Enough already!”  In “real” time, we don’t ride escalators just for the fun of it, nor do we remain on them.  We use them to get between floors, between “dimensions”, and each floor has something different to offer.  On earth, it’s just one floor and two escalators, one really narrow one that takes you up you don’t know where and that’s scary so very few take it,  and a really wide one that moves down into the darkness – only most riders don’t see that as darkness – they just think it’s the good life club or the bargain basement.  Only its just more darkness.  That’s the Matrix.
     Today I realize more than at any other time that I’m tired of the escalator.  Of the pointlessness of it all.  The quest for things that die.  The quest to satisfy a body that can’t even keep itself going – to keep a defective piece of equipment functioning long past it’s shelf-life.
I want off.  I don’t think that even the upward moving one will take me where I want to go (and do I really know where that is?).  I don’t trust escalators – somehow they’re too easy.  Today, there’s a part of me that wants wings, the power to go wherever I wish without dependency to pre-established paths.  That really wants to fly! 
      There is a growing consensus among Earthians that you can “intent” things; that you can attract things to yourself by thinking positively about them.  Some kind of “attraction” energy.  I wish that were true of all things, not just personal ones!  I have spent a lifetime in “intent” to bring about good things for earth.  I didn’t want them for me, but for the world.
Intent must be a weak force: what I intended for others, I got for me instead.  I don’t see a lot of it having gone out into the world to make it a better place.  So now, having received all the good things I didn’t even want – and certainly didn’t need – things I intended for “YOU” to have, I have nothing left to do here.
     Ah yes, there is one thing left I’d fall for today (I must be soft in the head – but that’s the problem with desire) — I want someone, OK, let’s admit it, I want “God” to come to me and say, “I love you and I’ll take care of everything from now on,” and I want to just give up and reply: “I’m yours, no reservation.”  I would utter Chief Joseph’s famous words: “I shall fight no more forever.”
     Can I do that?  After all I’ve done?  All I’ve stated regarding my distrust of God?  All my anger at global injustice that I blamed on Him and that still rages on?  I’ve trusted Him to be with me and gave Him my entire life on two occasions… and He abandoned me when I needed Him most.
Can I fall for that again?  Has He changed, or have I?
(NOTE: When I say “YOU” below, I mean the world, not an individual person.)
     Was it Him who created the escalator in the first place?  You’ll say to me, “Yeah, well ask Him, don’t ask us.”  But I think that God’s “voice” is humanity.  “YOU” speak for God.  I don’t care about the feel good stuff you say about Him, but YOU are God for me. 
     The only way I’ll ever really see God is by looking at YOU.  The only way I’ll ever know God is by observing YOU.  Can I trust YOU?  Can I give myself to YOU?  If I come to you as just another nameless and faceless of the tens of thousands you kill each day, how much compassion can I expect from YOU?  Better yet, if I come from the “wrong” part of the world, or if I wear the “wrong” type of dress, or the “wrong” skin colour, or speak the “wrong” language, will you see me as just another YOU?
     I think I know the answer.  And that is why I’m tired.  Why I think more and more about a home that is far, far away from “YOU.”

Thoughts about Dying (an essay)

 

Thoughts about Dying – from   ~burning woman~  by Sha’Tara

           Yeah, I’ve thought about dying.  In fact, I’ve thought about dying lots of times.  Before I began to think about dying in English, I used to think about dying in French.  Somewhere in between, when I worked with Central American refugees escaping from the White House’s Assassin–in-Chief Ronald Reagan whose CIA contras specialized in capturing, torturing and murdering unarmed Guatemalan native campesinos, I learned a bit of useful Spanish, and then I thought about dying in Spanish.  I learned to sing Guantanamera in Spanish and sang it as close as I could to the original as sung by The Sandpipers, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm1anurhbeg ) then I learned the English translation.  “My words are like a wounded fawn seeking refuge in the forest… Before I die I want to share these words of my soul…” 

          When I was little I thought about dying because I was afraid of it.  I knew, even then, that I was born to die.  I remembered a previous life in which I had died painfully and violently; when I had spent a lot of time in a cold, dank prison, thinking about dying; about how nice it would be to just go to sleep finally one night and never wake up.  When you are being tortured, you think about dying.  Dying is a gift the gods are very reticent to grant you because, I suppose, the gods invented suffering and death and they feel cheated if you arrive at the one without fully experiencing the other.  They get off on man’s pain and suffering, you see.

          I still think about death a lot.  I think of it as the bottomless, endless topic.  But I no longer think of death as an escape from reality.  I’m experienced now, and I remember that death was never an escape.  I learned that whatever I was; whatever I’d become; passed with me through those black doors.  Whatever I was, that was inescapable reality. 

          I cannot escape what I am. So when I think about dying now, I have to remember this simple lesson and prepare myself for death accordingly.  It’s no different than planning a very, very serious trip.  It could even be a journey if I beat the odds this time around and I don’t find myself right back here with only a few months, or years of interim fogginess of mind.  Death is funny that way; it likes you to go through its doors over and over.  Death has a magnificent set of ebony black matte revolving doors and he’s unduly proud of them.  

          How did Death design his doors?  I’ll try to make a long story short.  Think of all the doors of the world designed to keep something, or someone, from escaping.   Think prison doors, and how inventive, clever and imaginative man has been in designing prison doors to create a sense of utter hopelessness behind those doors.  Take every design of every prison door and put that into one set of massive doors.  Pretty impressive.  It’s psychological.  You’re supposed to think; to believe; that when you cross that threshold you’ll never get out again.  So you lose your mind; you go into a coma; you remember nothing when your time’s up and you are set “free” for another round at the wheel.  They wipe your memory so you won’t remember.  The reason is simple: they want you to die all over again as if it was the very first and only time. 

          They want you to live in an inescapable fear of death.  Those who fear death are easily manipulated into unthinkable anti-social acts against anyone they believe can rob them of life.  Fear of death is a belief in serious limitation: one life, then nothing.  Or for a dwindling number, one life then a judgment by a god of terror.  Some choice.  I remember that god of terror.  He was even more frightening than Death because he held those eternal chains that would keep you in a burning hell forever.  I remember doing the math on my chances at an eternity in heaven instead of hell: the odds weren’t good.   And I remember thinking also, how can I be sure that an eternity in heaven with a psychopathic god will be better than one in hell?  I thought, it probably compares to voting Republican or Democrat.  Liberal or Conservative.  The lesser of evils is still evil.

          Then I grew up some.  I learned some tricks on how to access deep memory; the part they can’t wipe out before they send you back.  The data wasn’t great and lots of it is corrupted, but there was enough to construct some memories; to remember.  From delving into those remains of past lives I re-constructed some of them and learned Death’s great secret; that it isn’t an end, nor is it a passage into a pre-determined eternity of bliss or the most terrible of eternal pain.  It was a revolving door and if I came to that door again I could hold some seriously powerful bargaining chips – if I did the work that is.

          So I’ve been thinking about death a whole lot more since the day I exposed its secret.  When I think about death now, I do it while looking at this world.  I think of all the death that accompanies what passes for life here and the termination of a body allowing me to push through those revolving doors in self-empowered mode isn’t an issue anymore.  The way I look at it now is, I’m living a free life in sudden death overtime.   

          Here’s how John Donne put it:

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones,
and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

 

Genesis – a Different Perspective

It is claimed, probably correctly, that the Christian Bible remains the most popular book in the world, the most purchased, the most read, in its manifold versions and interpretations.  That being the case, the book itself deserves to be read, and its contents analyzed and understood.  Any book whose contents have the power to control so much of man’s thinking and subsequent acts should not be simply relegated to the dustbin of irrelevant myth.  Is it a tool… or a weapon of mass distraction leading to mass destruction?
           In the movie, “Contact” (based on the book of same name by Carl Sagan) it is claimed that over 90% of the planet’s population “believes in God” in some way or other.  That argument was used to prevent atheist Ellie Arroway from participating in the first attempted flight in the alien-designed machine.
          Most people who believe in God “just do it” and don’t think about it.  In fact thinking about it is strongly discouraged because it inevitably leads to doubt.  In the Catholic Church, doubt is one of the deadly sins!  I wrote the following from my own path of simple unquestioning faith in the Christian deity, to doubt, and to the eventual freedom among the wide-open vistas of scepticism.
             I never argue the existence of God: He exists in the minds of people, therefore He exists.  Man creates his gods and installs them on thrones from which they rule him with an iron fist.  History provides incontrovertible evidence of that fact.   What I do discuss; what I can discuss; is the nature of God, and the Bible is the one book that makes the claim to reveal that nature to mankind, so the Bible needs to be perused with a mental find-tooth comb.  Have a look at this bit of discussion in the nature of man’s number one divinity.

Genesis – a Different Perspective
           [a short story by Sha’Tara]

          The old man inclined his hoary head to Reuben as they sat on the old and cold cement bench near the fountain. It was quiet enough, this far from the main streets, and the fountain had ceased functioning years ago. It’s basin was filling with moldy detritus partially covered with falling leaves. A robin, his head cocked much like the old man, was worm-listening and farther off under a spreading ivy clinging to a wild thorn, a towhee hopped and scratched as if his very life depended on the action.   Well, maybe it did.

Reuben had helped the old man up after he’d fallen while trying to step over a shifted paving stone. Then he’d taken him to an outdoor café and bought him a bagel and coffee.   They had talked. Reuben, in his third year of classic Bible studies and still undecided about pursuing a career as a religious, had innocently answered the old man’s questions.

          “So, three years of religious studies and no definite idea what you want to do with that knowledge? Ah the youth of today, to have such latitude. Back when, you had to know what you were going to do by the time you were sixteen at the very least. Then you pursued that one goal, and found your own means of support if you wanted to continue on to university. Different times…” and the old man sighed. “Thank you for the bagel and the coffee. I haven’t had such a treat in a long time. Retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, my friend. May I call you my friend without offending?”

          “Certainly sir. I’d like to be considered a friend. What should I call you then?”

          “Friend is good. Very good.   But I should be going. I’m sure you have better things to do than babysitting an old man on a late Friday afternoon, yes?”

          “Actually, I am enjoying this. It’s different. I find my mind going off in an uncharted path. I am even thinking, if you were up to it, of asking you some life questions.   All those years, all those experiences.   Perhaps you know things I could benefit from, especially if I do enter some kind of ministry. How can someone as young as I assume he could counsel people with real problems?”

          So they began to talk and after a while the old man needed to move, so they walked slowly until they reached the quiet of the old park with the dead fountain.   The old man needed to sit again, so they sat on the dirty old cement bench and Reuben, face bent to look at his feet stepping on tufts of unkept grass, wondered what he was doing, why he was encouraging this old man. What’s with me? he thought.

          The old man suddenly put his hand on Reuben’s arm. “So you studied the Bible all these years, yes?”

          “Yes, the Bible, religious history, particularly Christian; and realms of interpretations, theological arguments, theories, and dogma. But the more I read, the more I study, the more I learn, the more uncomfortable I become; the more uncertain. I feel that my zeal has been scattered to the winds, if you know what I mean. It’s not as clear now. God used to “talk” to me in a sense, you know? But not for a long time now. Nothing.   My counsellor calls it the dark night of the soul but with all due respect, I’m not so sure. I don’t think it would be productive for God to keep those who want to serve him, in mind darkness, in confusion and doubt, not this long. There should have been a resolve. Well, there you have it, friend: no resolve.”

          “I’d like to tell you something,” said the old man with a twinkle, “and I guarantee that it’s something you have not come across in any of your books, except perhaps your Bible, but then, you were raised in such careful exegesis that even though it was right under your nose all those years, you never saw it. Of course you’re not meant to see it. This Biblical “slip” if you will, would devastate much of the Earth’s religions, even non-Christian ones.”

          A part of Reuben wanted to leave at that moment. In his current state of doubt, any story casting further doubts on what he so fervently wanted to believe, was not what he wanted. In fact, he had hoped that in some mysterious way, this old man was an angel sent from God to re-affirm his flagging faith.   He remained quiet while the old man turned to the sky and a soft smile played over the old wrinkled face. Now Reuben began to think that maybe the old man was Satan, or a demon, having come into his life at a weak moment intent on tormenting him.

          “I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and saviour,” he said, turning to the old man, “and nothing you say can change that.”

          “Oh, I already knew that, and my intent is not to change what you believe.   But perhaps what I have to say to you can help you understand why you believe what you believe and why you have doubts. After all, in the realm of faith all things are possible, since it is not dependent on objective proof. Whatever evidence I give you, you can still go on believing, even if it no longer makes any sense. Faith does not have to make sense, but do realize that is why it so often becomes the hideout or stronghold of the fanatic.”

          “Are you saying that by believing as I do, I’m a fanatic?”

          “Oh no, not at all. I’m just showing you the possibility, a door that remains always open to any individual who believes by faith. Just a bit of caution, if you will. You see Reuben, faith people always believe they are right and anyone else who believes differently has to be wrong; and they fear logic that can demonstrate their faith to be in error. That’s what makes a fanatic.”  

          “By that criteria, I’m a fanatic then…”

          “You said it and I have to agree. I just wanted you to see it, and give you a chance to end this discussion. In your mind at the moment, your faith is the truth and any other truth that contradicts that must be a lie. I didn’t want you to think I would be expounding a lie to you by “interpreting” some key passages of your Bible in a way quite opposite to what you have been taught.”

          Silence fell between the two men. The old man looked at the tree tops around the park as they cast their elongated shadows in the late afternoon. Reuben’s mind was in a complete turmoil. He desperately wanted two opposite things. One: run away from this stranger, two: hear his story. He finally opted to hear the old man’s interpretation.

          “I’m a bit nervous about listening, but I think my faith needs testing. If I can’t listen to you, what’s it good for?”

          “I thought that’s what you would decide. So let me go into my story then. I assume you are very familiar with the book of Genesis, particularly the first couple of chapters?”

          “Well, of course.”

          “What do you make of it?”

          “I don’t understand the question. What do I make of what?”

          “The story. What do you think of the story?”

          “Oh, I don’t know that it matters much, whether it’s literal or allegorical.   But I do believe that man is created, and that man sinned and was punished for that by being cast out of the presence of God. I also believe that God promised man that he would be sent a redeemer in time; one who would conquer the Evil One and set man free.”

          “Yes, so you accept the classic interpretation then?”

          “Yes I do. It makes sense in relation to the rest of the Bible, especially to the conclusion in the New Testament.

          “Yes, of course it makes sense. It has too.   One part cannot contradict another, correct?”

          “Correct.”

          “But Reuben, did you ever notice the incredible discrepancy in the first two chapters of the Bible? In the creation story?”

          “What discrepancy?”

          “Chapter one, you have the “six days” of creation by God. Everything is done in an orderly fashion, and all is given a point. It’s simple and easy to follow. Finally man and woman are created and sent into the earth to be fruitful, multiply and rule over it. And then this Creator is satisfied with his work and he takes a much deserved rest from a perfect work that, without interference, would not need any further input.   So far, so good, yes?”

          “To that point yes. But Satan was lurking there waiting his chance to disrupt, perhaps destroy, this beautiful creation.”

          “Ah yes, Satan. But aren’t we jumping the gun here? What happens after God decides to rest from his creating? Let’s look carefully at what comes next.  

          “Genesis, chapter two, verse 4 appears to be a re-telling of the events in chapter 1, but if you read even casually, you are struck by the fact that the re-telling has nothing to do with the original story. This is where it gets really interesting, and crucial, as far as understanding what happened to man, to the earth, and remains to curse the race and its planet to this day. Notice that “God” (the Creator of Genesis one) has now been morphed into a different divinity called “the LORD God” by the writer. Notice that the chronology of creation here is completely skewed. The creation of the “heavens and earth” are glossed over and the story teller focuses on the conditions on the earth where nothing was growing yet. He goes on to say that God created man to “work the ground” when there were as yet no plants on it. Yet immediately we are told that the LORD God “had planted a garden in the east, in Eden.”   There he placed the man, and only now does he make trees come out of the ground, and etc. Now Reuben, if any writer today botched the beginning of a story as bad as this, his only chance to be published would be by vanity press!   You’ll remember that the rest of that chapter is a mapping lesson describing the location of Eden, man being told to take care of the garden, being told what he could and could not eat, and the dire consequences of disobedience, man naming the creatures and looking for a mate among the animals (an interesting point in itself); God making a female companion for him and all’s well that ends well until Genesis chapter 3.

          “Enter the crafty serpent. He interestingly does not tempt Adam, but Eve. You will remember that the command not to eat of the fruit of the trees was given to Adam before Eve was created. So we must assume that Adam had passed on the warning to Eve and she would have some idea that picking fruit of knowledge, or of life, was a bad thing.   We must also assume that innocent Eve would not have a clue as to what a bad thing was as opposed to a good thing.   Remember, they had no concept of right and wrong since officially, at that point, they had no need of a conscience.   But Eve did evil anyway, and was held accountable, to be punished by additional pain, suffering and death, even though she would have no concept of what “dying” would mean. I assume you pondered these points and satisfied yourself that there was no problem with the account?”

          “It never seemed that important to me. What is important is that man became a sinner and suffered the consequences of his disobedience to God.”

          “Ah, but it wasn’t “man” technically, who disobeyed now, was it? Eve did it first, Eve whom God didn’t warn about disobedience, who only had Adam’s word for it. Could we assume that Eve might have thought Adam was putting her on, taking advantage of her ignorance, since he was the one who spoke to God, not her? Could we assume that she wanted to test Adam’s warning? Remember, this young woman had never seen “evil” – had no understanding of sin and consequences; had never been sick or physically inconvenienced; would not know what dying meant. Why would eating from one tree be different than eating from another?   How could she really know until she tried it? Isn’t that the point – to experience life rather than always taking someone else’s advice?

          “Look at us today: we do horrible things, knowing both, the curse and results.   We kill, knowing that murder is wrong and we inflict great mental and physical pain on each other knowing how it feels. Yet we do it. So why this great need to blame innocent Eve for doing something that could not mean anything serious to her?”

          “That’s why I think the story is allegorical. It is not a historical fact, just a kind of deus ex machina to explain why things are the way they are today.”

          “Well now, you’re thinking, you’re thinking. But before we get carried away with the allegory if such it is, let’s backtrack a bit. Why do you suppose the writer changed from “God” as a generic creator, to a specific “LORD God” in the second account?”

          “Usage? Different writer, different approach?”

          “That different? The two accounts have barely anything in common, Reuben, and you should see that now.   What if I told you that “God” in chapter one is indeed the original creator, and that the LORD God in chapter two verse 4 and following, is a different entity? It is assumed that the LORD God of Genesis is the subsequent Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews who then became the God of the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims. Is that so?”

          “Yes, of course.”

          “OK, let me plunge right in: I did much research and deep thinking about this Biblical problem; the credibility of the Edenic LORD God as original creator. It doesn’t add up. The original creation happened long, long, before the LORD God shows up; long before there is any Eden, or any mapping of earth going on, any reason to describe any particular place on earth as special. The original creation was self-sustaining, innocent and totally violence-free. Everything roamed everywhere freely and there was no enmity between individuals or species.   Don’t you get that feeling when you read Genesis one? Isn’t it true that the original Creator gave plants for food to all the creatures that moved on the ground, in the seas, in the air? Isn’t it important to note that there was no bloodshed in the original creation? Why is that?   Isn’t it because shedding blood is inherently evil because it engenders fear, then causes pain and death? Isn’t it because once such a pattern establishes itself on a world, that world is ultimately doomed?  

          “What other differences can you see here? Look at the creation of man and woman: together and equal, and sent freely into the world to live without fear, without qualms. The only commands, and believe me they were not onerous, was to be fruitful and multiply. Yes, likely there would be natural death, though that is still a moot point with me, but such a passing would not entail fear because there would be no pain and it would be part of the natural cycle to be experienced. Death would not have been put forward as a punishment.   See? Only a truly sociopathic creature would use death as a threat and punishment for any so-called disobedience.

          “So, who is the LORD God? That’s very easy to see now. It’s the same entity as the fake one it told man was called Satan disguised as a serpent.   But it was the LORD God, or some associate, who entered into that disguise and it was meant to create fear in the newly “created” sentient beings. It was that LORD God entity who brought evil: violence, bloodshed and fear into this world where none of those things had existed beforehand – and mark this: it needed an intelligent, sentient, self-aware being, someone who could legally be blamed for doing evil, for sinning.      

          “That entity did not create man. Man, wild man, already existed and populated much of the planet in small, self-sufficient groups in peaceful coexistence with others. What the LORD God did was clone new creatures, it’s own creatures, from existing wild man DNA and its own, to make them like him and bind them to himself.   He established rules and regulations, imposed Draconian laws, whereby he hoped to control his creatures and ensure they would serve him forever, whatever happened. And he invented all the tales, including the promise of a redeemer in some never-never future (one which is still being waited for, either as a first or second coming by the way) so that man would toil, fight and die and no matter which side he took, he would always be on the side of that same LORD God.   There would be no escape in the two-party system of God and Satan.

          “You know Reuben, the writer George Orwell may have figured out the eventual outcome of a world violently divided between dual and dueling interchangeable forces of good and evil, but mark my words, it was the LORD God of Genesis who invented the concept and tested it on his human clones.”

          By then the sun had set and Reuben sat with his eyes closed watching the images flowing through his mind. It was a lot to digest, certainly, but there was sense to it all. And surprisingly, he felt better than he had in months.   Something, some sort of weight, had been lifted by this alternative viewpoint. There was that wonderful “What if”” now tantalizing him, something new and tangible to work with, something that didn’t have the dry and predictable taste of his Biblical studies. He even smiled as he turned to this new friend.

          “I think it’s time we found a place to eat. I need a beer. Do you drink beer, Friend?”

          “Well, I used to long ago. But I haven’t had the pleasure in some time. I can’t afford to eat out, so I’m afraid I’ll have to decline and move along home.”

          “Ah, you assume I’m a poor university student who has barely the means to buy his books and find lodging in a garret, is that it?” he said laughing.

          “Something like that. No, all joking aside, it’s time for me to go. I gave you something fresh to ponder. Now you can unravel the tale from your own perspective and not from a thousand would-be hair-splitting “interpreters” of the Bible. Enjoy yourself, Reuben.”

          Reuben thought the voice sounded younger. He looked at his friend and saw that he indeed looked much younger, and there was more of a twinkle in a face which, though darkened by the fading light, he saw didn’t show any wrinkles. When his friend stood up, he was no longer tottering, but standing tall, straight, a powerful body a bit taller than himself. He thought he detected a light coming from the man beside him as his friend took his hand in his and pressed firmly.

          “You’ll be alright Reuben. You won’t sell yourself short and you will do much good on this world.  I bless you.  The man pulled back, and disappeared from view as he seemed to lift from the ground. Reuben stood alone and a bit shocked for a moment, but no longer doubting. This, he thought, was good. And he felt very hungry and thirsty for that beer.